Posted on October 17, 2019 at 12:02 AM
Jeremy Gruber, SVP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
St. Louis Approves Campaign Receives National Endorsement
Open Primaries Endorses Critical Election Reform Measure
St. Louis, MO (September, 2019) – Today Open Primaries, a national election reform advocacy organization, endorsed the St. Louis Approves (STL Approves) campaign to bring approval voting and open, nonpartisan primaries to St. Louis and with it, a more open process that gives all St. Louis voters more voice in city elections.
Open Primaries joins the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan St. Louis, Show Me Integrity, the Center for Election Science, and elected and community leaders in St. Louis, including St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones, State Representative-Elect and Democratic Party Committeeman Rasheen Aldridge, Jr., Democratic Committeeman Marty Joe Murray, Jr., Reverend Darryl Gray, and former University of Missouri-St. Louis Political Theory Professor Wally Siewert in endorsing this initiative.
For far too long, elections in St. Louis have not represented the will of the majority of voters, with “first past the post” multi-candidate partisan primary races and noncompetitive general elections resulting in elected officials selected by small segments of the electorate. Many candidates win primaries in St. Louis with less than 40% support. That’s not democracy.
With the STL Approves initiative, every voter will be able to vote for as many candidates as they approve of. The two candidates with the most approval will advance from the nonpartisan primary to the general election. The ultimate winner will have won the broad support of St. Louis voters.
This new system will encourage more involvement and higher turnout and with it, a more representative and democratic political culture in St. Louis.
The STL Approves campaign is currently gathering signatures for the 2020 ballot.
“St. Louis elections are broken. Too often, our leaders are elected by the few, instead of the many. When winners don’t have a mandate to govern, big money special interests have too much power. St. Louis should join the growing number of places like Kansas City, Minneapolis, Fargo, and San Francisco that use better voting systems to help ensure the winner has broad support. STL Approves will stop the vote-splitting that has diluted the power of voters across the city. It will help elect the people’s representatives and hold them accountable to do what’s best for the whole city. We are thrilled to have the support of Open Primaries in creating a better St. Louis."
-Rasheen Aldridge, Democratic Party Committeeman
“Approval voting is innovative. And innovation works best when everyone is included and everyone benefits. Approval voting will provide St. Louis voters with new, more powerful, ways to express themselves. And by conducting approval voting within a nonpartisan primary system open to all voters, STL Approves is fusing innovation with voter empowerment. We are proud to endorse the initiative.”
-John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries
Available for Interview
Jon Clancy, Campaign Manager for STL Approves (based in St. Louis)
John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries, Inc. (based in New York City)
STL Approves was started by five grassroots volunteers who began working on voting reform in St. Louis City in early 2018 to ensure winning candidates have broad support among voters. Now, by building a coalition, they have developed a thorough policy and campaign plan to turn this into reality. For more information about STL Approves and the campaign, visit www.stlapproves.org.
Open Primaries is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization working to enact open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. For more information about Open Primaries and its work, visit www.openprimaries.org